Never Waste a Crisis: How Sub-Saharan African Insurers Are Being Affected By, and Are Responding To, COVID-19

Equipping insurers and regulators to embrace and adopt innovation

COVID-19 containment and mitigation measures in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have restricted the movement of people, goods and services. This has affected insurers’ operations, which, to a large extent, have traditionally required physical engagement. It is also affecting insurers’ ability to launch new products, conclude new sales, collect premiums, service existing customers and process and pay claims. Moreover, the economic crisis triggered by the pandemic is affecting premium and investment income, and balance sheets are put under strain. While the pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing weaknesses of the insurance sector in SSA, it also provides an opportunity for insurers and regulators to become better equipped to embrace and adopt innovation and develop their insurance markets.

This note takes stock of the impacts of the pandemic on insurers, based on interviews with 34 insurers, insurtechs, reinsurers and insurance and broker associations across 18 markets, looking at impacts on operations, impacts across the insurance product cycle, balance sheet impacts and the regulatory engagements and responses. The report identifies key opportunities for insurance and regulators.

About this Publication

By Lucia Schlemmer, Kate Rinehart-Smit , Jeremy Gray